That Blue Square Thing

Population Pyramids in Excel

Population Pyramids in a spreadsheet are quite tricky, particularly if you want them to look nice. There are a range of tutorials out there on the internet, but none of them quite reached the level of presentation that I was looking for.

So, I've developed a series of Excel workbooks which will draw the charts for you. All you need to do is find the data, enter it and change the chart title. I might include a tutorial as to how to do this in Excel 2016 if I get around to it - I'm hoping it'll be a little more straight forward in that version of Excel than it is in the older versions I usually use.

I figure that most of the time you'll not be collecting population data yourself so you're essentially looking at processing of secondary data - so I don't mind so much doing the work for you here...

You should be able to use the sheet to draw profiles like the ones below:

Population pyramid charts

I got the data for these pyramids from the United Nations data siteExternal link icon which seems a quite reliable place to source it from. Data can be downloaded as a CSV file but there will need to be some hacking done.

If you just press the download button you'll get all the countries - which takes quite a time. Selecting countries and years from the left side boxes and then pressing the Filter button will let you download smaller datasets.

I'm sure there are plenty of other data sources to use.

The Resources:

Download and use.

MS Excel iconPopulation Pyramid - 5 Year Cohorts (up to age 85+) - the data already in the sheet is for Afghanistan

MS Excel iconPopulation Pyramid - 5 Year Cohorts (up to age 100+) - the data already in the sheet is for Norway

MS Excel iconPopulation Pyramid - 10 Year Cohorts (up to age 80+) - the data already in the sheet is basically dummy data based on the data for Afghanistan

Technical Notes:

The spreadsheet is an Excel 2011 version. It should work in other versions of Excel without a problem - but please let me know if it doesn't!

There are locked cells on the data sheet so that you don't accidentally delete things that you don't need to change. There's no password protection in place so full open-source ability to tweak as much as you want to.